Schizophrenia drug may fight cancer
A DRUG used to treat schizophrenia may provide an effective weapon against treatment-resistant cancers, research suggests. The anti-psychotic drug thioridazine appears to “tame” deadly cancer stem cells, turning them into ordinary non-cancerous cells. Stem cells are thought to be the source of many cancers and are often impervious to traditional chemotherapy. First identified in certain types of leukaemia in 1997, they are now known to play a role in breast, brain, lung, gastrointestinal, prostate and ovarian cancers. Scientists discovered thioridazine’s surprising properties after screening hundreds of compounds looking for ways of attacking cancer stem cells.